Most anticipated NBA Finals in 30 years: Stern

Miami, June 7 (IANS) Commissioner David Stern has said the 2013 Finals of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the last championships series in his career, is the most anticipated Finals in 30 years.

Stern, who took the post as the Commissioner of the league in 1984, will leave the office in February, reports Xinhua.

"This is probably the most anticipated Finals in who knows, 30 years, probably the best that I could possibly expect for my last Finals," he said.

Miami Heat took on San Antonio Spurs at home in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Finals, Thursday.

The Spurs, which entered the fifth Finals in 14 years, won all the previous four appearances in the championships series, while the Heat are seeking for their second consecutive title on the third Finals in row.

"The seventh game on TNT was the highest-rated game in the history of our relationship. And that's almost three decades with the Turner Organization," Stern said about the Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Heat.

"It tells you something about the interest in this game. And that interest is going to be expressed tonight by fans in probably 251 countries enjoying the games in 46 or 47 different languages," said Stern at the customary pre-Finals press conference here Thursday.

"We had a great year. I think the NBA is literally at the top of the game. And it has no place to go but up, rather than no place to go but down. It's going straight up globally, digitally, television and we're excited about the upcoming season when we'll play games in eight international cities," said Stern.

After 30 years guiding the domestic North-American league to one of the most successful leagues in the world, Stern is ready to leave the rein to the Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.

"I do know every day that I have the best job in the world, and I'm looking forward to handing over the gonfalon to Adam who will then have the best job in the world. I'll explain to him what a gonfalon is, and he will carry it to heights that are going to make me very happy," Stern added.

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